Several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members yesterday criticized outgoing DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) draft election review, saying it missed the point and evaded Tsai’s responsibility and that of her campaign team in the Jan. 14 defeat.
Tsai, who lost the presidential election last month to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) by about 800,000 votes, submitted a draft review to the party’s Central -Standing Committee on Wednesday and outlined six primary reasons for the loss.
Former Mainland Affairs Council vice chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said the report lacked introspection, in particular about Tsai herself and her campaign team, and had totally “missed the point.”
The review concluded that voters’ doubts about the DPP, Ma’s scare tactics and abuse of administrative resources, fewer DPP supporters returning to their hometowns to vote, a lower-than-expected turnout rate and the impact of strategic voting had contributed to the loss.
“It was like a student who blamed his failure to pass an examination on difficult test questions,” You said of the report, adding that Tsai should rewrite the report and let party members who were not on the campaign team conduct the review.
It did not make sense to cite concerns over stability, administrative resources and strategic voting as reasons because “they had always been there in the past two decades,” said Hung Chih-kun (洪智坤), a member of the party’s Central Executive Committee.
Hung said he observed three flaws — in agenda-setting, crisis management and decisionmaking — that had hurt Tsai’s presidential campaign.
Tsai failed to identify the key agenda in the campaign and did not adequately explain her primary policies, the “Taiwan consensus” and her assertion that “the Republic of China is Taiwan,” he said.
Tsai also hurt herself by taking too long to defend herself against various accusations from Ma’s campaign, Hung said, adding that the decisionmaking process of Tsai’s campaign was not centralized, integrated and coordinated.
The report was only a draft that was made for discussion in a meeting on Wednesday, DPP spokesperson Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) said in response to the criticism.
“We believe that the review was conducted with a complete analysis of scientific data and also includes the examination of the campaign team,” Lin said, adding that the review won praise from several committee members, such as Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德), Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷).
Since the report was considered an internal document, he said, the report would not be disclosed in its entirety to people outside the party.
Tsai is scheduled to deliver the final review to the party’s Central Executive Committee on Wednesday.
DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安), who attended Wednesday’s meeting, quoted Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) as saying at the meeting that the DPP campaign team had failed to highlight Tsai’s expertise as a negotiator and her familiarity with international affairs.
Pan denied media reports that Su had expressed displeasure about the report.